Real Life Looking CGI Trek

Discussion in 'Future of Trek' started by USS Excelsior, Nov 18, 2007.

  1. USS Excelsior

    USS Excelsior Commodore Commodore

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    Wouldn't it be cool, when CGI becomes so sophisticated that they can make new episodes that look like real TV including the actors.

    They could produce endless new TOS episodes and movies that look like the original actors were in it, and for the price of what the animation would be.

    As well as other TOS era episodes with new characters and ships, and the same would go for the other shows as well.
     
  2. HRHTheKING

    HRHTheKING Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This is essential IMO for Trek's future.

    Animation of the highest standards of CGI is the key.

    TOS, TNG and Titan are prime candidates for the CGI animation treatment.

    CBS Paramount should IMO already be looking into this as a possible future route.
     
  3. Jack Bauer

    Jack Bauer Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    What about the voices?
     
  4. USS Excelsior

    USS Excelsior Commodore Commodore

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    I guess based on already existing voices they'll have to somehow reproduce that too.
     
  5. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'd much rather see a traditional animated series in something like the style of Bruce Timm's "DC Universe" shows.
     
  6. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    Oh, it's really easy with current technology to convert one person's voice to another's. I can do it at home, for cryin' out loud.

    You need a sampling of phonemes... the entire run of Trek gives a pretty full sampling of the speech of each major character. You then basically use the same technology as a speech-recognition system to "morph" each spoken phoneme into a similar one to the one spoken by the original actor with a similar pitch, inflection, etc.

    Doing the voices is MUCH easier than doing convincing physical characters. The technology still has a few bugs, but within five years I expect this sort of full-voice-morphing to be commonplace.

    New Trek will be done on virtual sets, with real actors being motion captured and their voices being recorded... then using their captured motion and voices to "drive" CGI characters and voices.

    Less than ten years, folks... less than ten years... and this will be an absolute reality.

    The issue then will be more of LEGALITY than anything else. If PPC, or the surviving TOS actors (or the estates of the deceased ones) are smart, they'll negotiate this out today.

    You've gotta wonder... will we then see this next movie "reworked" with that technology, converting Pine to Young Shatner, Quinto to Young Nimoy, etc, etc?

    It's a Pandora's box... but it should be interesting to watch as it opens. ;)
     
  7. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    CGI is reaching a point already where it's possible to recreate life-like characters and movements ...
    problem is that there are a lot of things to worry about in the animation process and numerous things you have to do manually.

    But I suspect in several years, things will become of course much more automated eliminating the need to do numerous complex things manually.
     
  8. Timelord Victorious

    Timelord Victorious Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Funny, I just thought about just this kind of thing today. But I wouldn't make a TOS exlusive out of this.
    I would go for the whole nine yards and do the anthology series that's not really practical to makes as a live action show.
    It could be used to feature stories from all eras, all ships, new ships, new characters, established characters and even crossovers.
     
  9. USS Excelsior

    USS Excelsior Commodore Commodore

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    Might also be an outlet for creating fanwank and gimmicky piss.
     
  10. Kail

    Kail Commodore Commodore

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    A CGI TOS series could be pretty cool, IMO. This is not my work, but it's an example of what could be.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. HRHTheKING

    HRHTheKING Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Wow, that looks awesome.
     
  12. Jack Bauer

    Jack Bauer Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Ok, so you can do the voices but can they emote convincingly like an actor's voice does?
     
  13. Balthier the Great

    Balthier the Great Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I agree. Actually, you could do a reasonable job today if you wanted to. The only thing that's still hard is hair/fur. But even then, I think you could work around it. Besides Beowulf is entirely CGI, and we've already seen CGI ships.
     
  14. Herald

    Herald Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I'm sure the SAG and SEG will fight this trend tooth and nail.
     
  15. nerfherder

    nerfherder Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I'd love to see TAS remade with the CG animation that exists today. Were CGI to reach a true-to-life level, bringing TOS (or anthology Trek) back to life would, for me, be exhilarating.

    Still, I think there may be something macabre in this. A character that has been defined by a particular actor maintains some kernel of the actor within his/her presentation. To reanimate the presentation without the soul of the actor that originally presented it is a little ghoulish. Despite the fact that Kirk and Spock are characters, and as such may be presented equally as well by actors on stage, characterization in books, or digital film, we're still talking about the particular features of Shatner and Nimoy. Digital zombies, that's how I'd perceive their CGI counterparts. While I'd still love to see Trek brought back via CGI with all the characters I know, as I know them, there's something kinda creepy in this.
     
  16. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    That's the point... you get a real actor to speak the lines. Ideally, a real actor who sounds REASONABLY like the original actor. You then use the "phoneme-morphing" software tool to alter the individual spoken sounds to more closely resembled the sounds made by the "target" speaker.

    In other words, the performance is a NEW performance, complete with mannerisms and intonations. But the new performance is then altered to seem like it's a new performance by someone else.

    The stuff you mention would be what the new actor would be bringing to the role. Although I'm not sure if the term "actor" is quite the right term... hmmm....
     
  17. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Despite the awesome accomplishments of "Beowulf" and Gollum in the LOTR movies, CG has been used most excitingly and effectively to create things we can't see in real life (no, Gollum doesn't live downstairs from me - but his facial and emotional characteristics are close to human). Television animation is always done on a limited budget, compared to live action, and the producers could certainly indulge their imaginations more freely if a smaller portion of that was devoted to designing and rendering "photoreal" human beings.

    Because, really, the best you're going to get with CG is people having one of two reactions: "That doesn't look like William Shatner" or "that looks amazingly like William Shatner." That's good for about three minutes. Then...big whoop.
     
  18. Kegek

    Kegek Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^
    Frankly, I'd be content if it looks like this.

    And that was done on a video-game budget from almost a decade ago. I think a reasonably budgeted Star Trek show could reach that level.

    True, it's a gimmick. This stuff isn't going to be of much use until we can perfect synthetic voice. In the meantime, do this to TAS episodes.
     
  19. MoonTrek

    MoonTrek Ensign

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    I think I would still prefer real actors for something like Star Trek, although I agree the quality of CGI is now becoming incredible.
     
  20. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    It's always been incredible. That's why I don't find it credible -- or preferable.